Here are a few of the criminal law stories that occurred around the state of Alabama this past week:
- A “gun-wielding” version of the viral phenomenon, the Mannequin Challenge, recently led to the arrest of two North Alabama residents. The video, which has been shared over 86,000 times since being uploaded to Facebook in early November, shows several people in front of a neighborhood house and street posing with guns. After receiving a search warrant nearly a month after the video was posted, Madison County Police seized two handguns, an assault rifle and a shotgun along with several bags of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia. As of last Tuesday, two men, aged 49 and 23, were being held in the Madison County Jail in connection with the incident. Another male, 24, was taken into custody on a first degree charge of marijuana possession, but soon posted bail.
- The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announced the arrest of a 45-year-old Birmingham Schools employee on Friday. Charles Edward Walker Jr. faces drug trafficking charges after police seized 1,700 grams of heroin with fentanyl ($500,000 street value) and 90 grams of crack cocaine ($9,000 street value). Officers also confiscated a vehicle, a handgun and $55,000 in cash. The suspect posted bail and was released early Friday, but police report that the investigation is still ongoing.
- Most businesses use social media for marketing and sales initiatives during the holiday season. The Pants Store in Crestline take a slightly different approach, specifically using Facebook and other platforms to “shame” shoplifters caught on camera. The most recent instance occurred during the store’s annual Holiday Open House on December 8th. A woman entered the store during the sale, and then proceeded to pick out a few items, try them on in the dressing room and walk out wearing a pair of $150 shoes, a pair of $160 pants and a purse full of other items. After discovering the theft, the owners posted an image from one of Pants Store’s 16 security cameras and asked for help in identifying the woman. As of Friday, they had a possible ID and are working with Mountain Brook police.